Day 3 was pretty mellow. Dad’s having a minor surgery on Monday. But he’s still 75 and it’s still surgery, anything can happen. So instead of taking off on the next leg of my journey I spent a quiet day with him. Woke up insanely early because I could hear him putzing around. Did some PMCS on my bike while I had access to a well stocked garage. Mom makes these breakfast rolls and they were ready by the time I was done. Yum!
After that, we decided to take a drive up to Sedona and take photos. I’ve wanted to be side-by-side with Dad taking photos for awhile, so we could talk through composition together and I could give him some pointers. Unfortunately about an hour outside of Phoenix we started getting alerts that I-17 was shut down because of an accident, so we stopped at a truck stop, had lunch and headed back to Phoenix. It was funny, this time I was the one who went up to a biker and talked to him. He’d passed us on the interstate and took both hands off the handlebars and shook them off while going up a steep incline and maintaining speed, so it didn’t seem like he was using a throttle lock. He also had “MARINE” on the tank, so I went up to him while he was filling his bike, thanked him for his service (while resisting the urge to make fun of him) and talked to him about the after market cruise control he’d installed on his bike.
I’m not 100% sure that Dad didn’t decide to turn around just so he could have a nap. He laid down for a bit, then we went to mass. I haven’t gone to a Catholic service in awhile, and it felt comfortable. I’ve always said that one of the things I like about that Catholic church is that you can walk into one anywhere in the world and the rituals will make it feel like “home”.
The priest is also going through cancer treatment, so he understands. After the service, Dad went in to talk to him and ask him for a blessing. It was really touching, he stood kind of between Dad and I and prayed with us, then took my hand, put it on my Dad’s forehead and then covered it with his own and blessed my Dad. He is from South Africa and just seems so warm and happy and genuine, even in the midst of his own trials. I know that made Dad feel much more comfortable. He seems pretty at ease with everything, but while we were walking to the parking lot he mentioned that it gave him more confidence going into the surgery, and that if anything goes wrong, he feels like it helps to point him in the right direction.
After mass, we headed up to my mom’s restaurant. Shrimp, crab, dirty rice and hurricanes! ‘Nuff said! Perfect way to end the evening.
This travelogue is probably pretty boring to read, but I like jotting things down for my own memory.